Non-Aligned Movement leader speaks out against unilateral ideologies
Uganda has assumed the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), with the president of the East African nation, Yoweri Museveni, speaking out against developed-world leaders imposing their unilateral ideologies on other countries.
Museveni was elected as the chair of NAM on Friday during the group’s 19th conference held in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. He took over from Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and will lead the 120-nation bloc for the next three years.
“The oppressors miscalculate when they use their temporary advantage in science and technology to think that they can use that to indefinitely oppress other people. The oppressed will learn, catch up and defeat the oppressor,” he said in a speech at the summit.
Although the Ugandan leader did not mention any names, he has repeatedly criticized Western nations and organizations, including the US and the World Bank, for weaponizing aid in attempts to force Uganda and other African countries into abandoning their principles and sovereignty. Both Washington and the global financing body halted funding for Kampala after authorities passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 last year, claiming it violated the values of inclusion and non-discrimination.
On Friday, Museveni rejected the developed North's "narrow uni-ideological orientation" toward independent states, declaring that nations should not be manipulated, instructed, or threatened.
“Oppression will invite resistance. We are, therefore, not impressed and cannot be part of the morbid bigotry of uni-ideological thinking of this or that type,” he added.
The Ugandan leader called for unity among members of the movement in advancing influence at the global front, particularly at the UN, for transformative growth.
The NAM summit ended on Saturday with member-state leaders issuing the Kampala declaration, condemning Israeli offensives in Gaza. According to Palestinian health officials, Israel's military strikes have killed more than 25,000 people, while the Hamas attack killed about 1,200 people last October.
While South Africa is leading war crime and genocide actions against Israel at the International Court of Justice, the NAM declaration demands "that Israel should abide by the relevant UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions and fully withdraw" from occupied Palestinian territories.
Russia, which has observer status in NAM, praised the organization on Saturday for playing an important role in the process of establishing a fairer, democratic, and multipolar system of international relations.
“We are fully united by our rejection of neocolonialist ambitions, double standards, as well as forceful pressure, dictatorship and blackmail as a means of achieving foreign policy and foreign economic goals,” President Vladimir Putin said in a statement.
The NAM forum consists of countries that are not officially aligned with or against any major power bloc. It is the world's largest grouping of states after the UN, accounting for about 4.64 billion (58.35%) of the global population.